…As bus operators resist directive to leave town
Masvingo Urban councillors have expressed concern over the continued defiance by bus operators who have and continue to defy the local authority’s directive to use Mucheke bus rank and desist from use of illegal pick and drop points in the Central Business District (CBD).
Speaking during a full council meeting held on January 30, 2023 at the Civic Centre, councillors quizzed management led by Acting Town Clerk Vitalis Shonhai on why the resolution to drive buses out of the CBD was not being enforced.
Shonhayi however promised that management would employ other ways to enforce the resolution though he admitted the authority is facing strong defiance from the transport operators.
“On the issue of implementing that resolution concerning buses, we face some form of resistance from the transport operators, so we are trying to embark on a multi-sectoral approach where we would like to work with partners like Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) among others to solve the matter,” said Shonhayi.
Mayor Collen Maboke said there was no need for council to continue engaging those ‘errant’ operators but clamping those illegally parked vehicles is the best way to go.
“We have a resolution in place concerning these transport operators and the best way to go is to resort to use of clamps and fine those found wanting so that sanity can be restored in the CBD. There is no need to worry over resources to enforce that because we just need to use the clamps we already have,” said Maboke.
Ward 10 councillor Sengerayi Manyanga weighed in urging council to even approach the Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution Ezra Chadzamira to help them ensure compliance on part of transporters is realized.
He added that getting those transporters out of town would also help get rid of illegal vending in the CBD as people would be attracted to the rank.
“We should just make use of those clamps and impose stiffer penalties for example US$ 200 in case of a bus being clamped for illegal picking and dropping offences and that would deter the transporters from using the CBD.
“There is need to ensure that all buses use Mucheke rank so that if the rank is doing well and so will be the activities of the local authority,” said Manyanga.
The move by council to drive commuter buses and other vehicles out of town seems to have hit a brick wall as Chevron hotel, Pick n Pay and Croco Motors among others continue to be used by those operators despite the fact that there are no ablution facilities at those areas thereby presenting a health hazard.